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October 2012

IKEA and Starbucks Bow Down to Islamic Misogyny

In a misguided effort to placate the misogynistic government of Saudi Arabia, IKEA bent over backward and kissed ass by taking the morally bankrupt step of erasing all women from the Saudi edition of their catalog. By erase, I mean the same catalog pages now have the women photoshopped out (see the image below for a sample). Saudi Arabia, that bastion of human rights, is a strange land where men apparently can't keep their penises in their pants if they even see an inch of female flesh. To that end, they encase their women in black bags leaving a small slit for the eyes. After all, the women still need to do all that woman work and if you can't see, you can't sweep the floor. Since the women in the IKEA catalog wore more civilized dress, they couldn't be allowed to remain, so out came the magic eraser.

IKEA has been rightly reamed in the media for this and they deserve every piece of bad press they get for this. They now say they 'regret' their callous move, but will they show moral fortitude and allow their standard catalog images to appear in the Saudi Arabian edition? Are they willing to face down the repressive Islamic regime in the name of human decency? And if Saudi Arabia claims it hurts their religious feelings, will IKEA take that regret to the bank and close its Saudi stores? Time will tell just how much regret they are willing to show. I remember back when IKEA was Swedish for "common sense", not "who cares about women anyhow".

Meanwhile, over in the coffee aisle, Starbucks is busy caring about the environment, but women are apparently not part of the environment. When I posted my dismay about IKEA earlier today, a friend pointed out that Starbucks is also big on kissing Saudi fanny. They too have erased women from their corporate image when it comes to placating the sexuallly repressive misogynystic male population. It seems that the mermaid logo still shows too much female flesh, so Starbucks also chose to erase half the population, if only symbolically. Their famous logo, featuring the two-tailed mermaid, was changed for the Saudi market to show only a stylized crown over waves; see the image below left for the current Starbucks logo with the Saudi version to the right.

     

All this while the United Nations General Assembly pushes for an international law that would make blasphemy a crime, and imposing a worldwide ban on insulting or criticizing religious beliefs or customs. This should scare the hell out of you because a law like that can only be used to opress and silence opposition to even more heinous crimes. It means you and I will no longer to criticize and ridicule criminal states like Saudi Arabia for their catalog of human rights abuses if they explain that it's part of their religious culture. It also means that we'll have to accept that companies like IKEA and Starbucks are just showing respect instead of displaying a love of money that supercedes any moral compass. 

The justification pushing this blasphemy law comes from outraged Islamists who figure that destroying property and murdering people is a fair balanced response to some idiot making an atrociously bad film about the prophet Mahummad. 

This is why we need to crush any attempts to institute blasphemy laws.  We, as evolved, civilized human beings, must not shy away from speaking out when religion trumps human rights. At these times, blasphemy, heresy, and ridicule are some of our best weapons. 

Praying For Peace In Winnipeg

Image from Radio Canada article here http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/manitoba/2012/10/04/002-winnipeg-chef-police.shtml

I'm trying to decide just how much fun I want to poke at this guy. 

On one hand, Devon Clunis has an unenviable job, one I certainly never want. While Winnipeg is a quiet rural town when compared to comparable US cities when it comes to crime, tackling crime in Canada's murder capital is a hard job by anyone's reckoning. 

Unfortunately, I must temporarily suspend my respect for the person willing to take on this kind of job because Devon Clunis needs to sit down and think seriously about what policing involves and how best to deal with crime. Winnipeg's new police chief has apparently decided that the way to reduce crime is to get everyone to pray.

Yes, pray.

"I'm a little tired of us…being '[the] murder capital of Canada,'" says Devon Clunis, who was appointed chief of police at the beginning of October. "People consistently say, 'How are you going to solve that?' It's not simply going to be because we're going to go out there and police it away. I truly believe that prayer will be a significant piece of that."

"What would happen if we all just truly—I'm talking about all religious stripes here—started praying for the peace of this city and then actually started putting some action behind that?" he adds. "I believe something phenomenal is going to happen in our city. I truly believe it's coming. I don't think I've arrived at this position just by chance."

Jesus Is Alive - So Is Elvis

Oct 25, 2012 - Tags:

Meanwhile, near Peterborough, Ontario, a battle rages for the hearts and minds of drivers making their way down the roadways. 

One man, deeply devoted to Jesus, decides to make it clear by using his own house as a billboard.

In case you can't read the words on the roof, let't take a look at a close-up (you could also just click on the image).

His next door neighbour might be just as passionate about another man made god, the King of rock and roll himself, the immortal Elvis Presley. Of course, he may just be annoyed at his neighbour's billboard and chose to respond with a billboard of his own. Check it out.

If you're having trouble reading the rooftop on that one, look at the closeup below or, once again, just click on the image for a full sized view.

So? King of rock and roll or King of kings? Are either really alive and living in Spokane where they work at a local greasy spoon serving up burgers and fries?

Myself, I take a more pragmatic view of the whole debate. It seems to be that Elvis is just as alive as Jesus. Maybe just a little more so but only because he hasn't been dead quite as long as Jesus.

NdGT: 85%

I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Asimov: a theory

Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

Isaac Asimov

Franklin: Lighthouses

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.

Benjamin Franklin

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

George Bernard Shaw

Vonnegut: faith

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.

Kurt Vonnegut

Gibbon: regarding religion

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Edward Gibbon

Steinem: con job

It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.

Gloria Steinem

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Edward Gibbon